How to win on the Google search battlefield
By Jessa Mendoza, WireBuzz.com
Most of us have heard of a little game called Battle of the Sexes. There are numerous game theories. One being iteratively deleting weakly dominated strategies. Similarly, Google search is a battlefield where you’re contending against several opponents: your competitors! It’s a game of push and pull, and at the end of the day the true gladiators are those who know how to discover, advance and prevail in content strategy.
1. Start at the top and work your way down
Before you start racking your brain on how everyone else is doing it, it’s important you take a step back to look at the big picture of your business. Ask yourself what two or three areas of your business you’d like to advance in the next six to 12 months. Now, write them down and make sure they’re posted for everyone to see! Once you’ve got that knocked out, it’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror and identify what you need to change to make these goals reality.
Vixen Tip: Aim high. If you’re looking to advance in rank, you’ve got to start scoring differently.
2. Hit the ‘g’ spot
Hitting the sweet spot is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Good isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need to be insanely great at knowing your target audience’s appetite and creating compelling content around those cravings. At the end of the day, their consumption and level of engagement will mold and define your Google search dominance.
I spend hours with clients during this discovery phase. We work together on stepping outside of the “business bubble” and into the role of the consumer (content-marketing role playing, if you will). A great starting point is to identify the top-20 most-asked questions you get when speaking with a client. You can almost guarantee that if they are asking you these questions, they are certainly hitting the search bar with the same thoughts. That, my friend, is how you hit a home run: supply content you know your audience is demanding.
Another good content practice is to prioritize the most important things content can do for you. Ask yourself, which bucket(s) would this content piece fall under and does it align with my overall objectives:
- Build awareness
- Nurture leads
- Engage influencers
- Serve established customers
- Cross-sell or up-sell
- Generate new sales leads
- Establish your expertise
Vixen Tip: If your goal is to get a potential client out of the “friend zone” and into a committed long-term relationship, remember these laws of content attraction when it comes to topics: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
3. Finish on top
Like it or not, we are all visual beings, which is why our eyes gravitate toward images and video. (Admit it … you prefer live action!) Last month, I covered stats on how video consumption is exploding, but as a refresher, let’s talk about why video is essential in your content marketing strategy.
In the world of Google search, there is something called blended or universal search. Google knows people like options, so when a user enters a key phrase, they’re presented with a choice of web pages, videos, images, shopping results, maps, news or location-based results. Though awesome for the user, this creates another layer of difficulty for the already competitive landscape of content marketing. Regular text-based content is now up against all those shiny, eye-catching video results that take up prime real estate on the first page of Google.
But if done right, video can be the ticket to dominance in the world of search—especially if your competitors are not taking advantage of it. Yes, it’s imperative you’re creating the compelling video your audience is looking for, but it’s equally important to ensure that when that video is posted, it is optimized and distributed in such a way that Google can’t help but want to rank it. In addition, video content is an opportunity to keep exposing your company and its offerings long after you’ve turned in for the night. It’s time to work smarter, not harder!
Vixen Tip: Don’t put all your cards out on the table at once. When creating video content, keep it short and sweet (two to three minutes) with some enticing teasers to keep your audience interested and wanting more.
Jessa Mendoza is vice president of operations and content development at WireBuzz.com, a Scottsdale Airpark-based video content marketing company that develops strategically optimized video campaigns to convert targeted Internet audiences into customers. Always ready for a challenge, Mendoza continually identifies and implements innovative ways to elevate the company’s operational and content development strategies. Companies such as Hearst Magazines and Lifetime Networks have sought after her consultation and ability to concurrently wear a creative, marketing, and business development hat when approaching new projects.